Why Do Horse Flies Chase You? (TOP 5 Tips)

Horseflies bite to ingest blood which is rich in protein. The protein is needed to develop their fertilized eggs. Only females need to bite since the males don’t produce eggs. And yes, horseflies will chase you down to get their meal.

  • Why Do Horse Flies Chase You? Horseflies bite to ingest blood which is rich in protein. The protein is needed to develop their fertilized eggs. And yes, horseflies will chase you down to get their meal.

How do you keep horse flies away from you?

Burn Candles & Torches. If you’re having a backyard barbecue or other outdoor gathering, you can help stop horse flies from attacking your guests by burning citronella candles and lighting torches. The smoke and scent released from the citronella oil can help keep horse flies away.

Why are horseflies attracted to humans?

What Attracts Horse Flies? Female Horse flies detect humans and animals by colors, and movements, they are attracted to shiny objects, warmth, sweat, and exhaled carbon dioxide.

Why do horse flies bite me and not others?

Only females bite because they need blood to produce eggs. They have jagged, saw-like teeth which slice open skin, then they release an anti-coagulant to stop the blood from clotting while they enjoy their meal.

Why do horseflies bite me?

However, unlike mosquitoes, which puncture and suck blood from their victim’s skin, horseflies tear the victim’s flesh. After using small hooks to lock in, the horse fly sucks blood from the skin. Thus, the saliva injected while biting causes a sharp burning sensation.

What are horseflies attracted to?

These flies apparently are attracted to such things as movement, shiny surfaces, carbon dioxide, and warmth. Once on a host, they use their knife-like mouthparts to slice the skin and feed on the blood pool that is created.

Why are horse flies so aggressive?

Why are horseflies so aggressive? Horseflies are known for their aggressive nature, which is due to their blood diet. The more time they spend around humans and other animals, the hungrier they get and the more aggressive they become when looking for food.

How painful is a horse fly bite?

A horsefly bite can be very painful, with the skin often turning red, itchy and raised. Depending on the bite, you may also experience a raised rash (known as hives or urticaria), and, in some cases, dizziness.

What do horse flies hate?

Look for other ingredients in sprays — or make your own with natural oils — that are believed to be offensive to horse flies. These include peppermint, eucalyptus, lavender, clove, rosemary, basil, tea tree, lemongrass, catnip and cedar.

What do horsefly bites look like on humans?

A bite from a horsefly can be very painful and the bitten area of skin will usually be red and raised. You may also experience: a larger red, raised rash (called hives or urticaria) dizziness.

What to do if a horse bites you?

Your horse needs to understand that biting is bad. If your horse goes to bite you, immediately send them out on the lead at a working trot or canter. Have them go on the circle a while to communicate your point. Don’t let them stop on their own; they stop when you ask them to.

Do horse flies lay eggs in your skin?

Like female mosquitoes, female horse flies require a protein meal to produce the eggs that will grow into the next generation of horse flies. Using these tiny blades, horse flies cut open their victim’s flesh and drink from the blood that pools in the wound. These bites can result in irritation and swelling.

Why do flies love my hair?

Oily hair is an attractant. o Less hairy skin gives the fly spaces to vomit. The house flies taste with their feet so if there is food on the skin, and space to liquefy it, they will land there. o Some of the body odours are more attractive to flies than others.

Why do horseflies exist?

Hanssen says the horsefly has found its niche in the ecosystem. It sucks blood for food and to reproduce, he said, and should be seen as part of the biodiversity of the planet, albeit an annoying one.

Do horse flies transmit disease to humans?

Aside from the momentary pain they cause, horsefly bites are not generally harmful to humans. This is because horseflies carry equine infectious anemia, also known as swamp fever. When they bite an equine animal, they can transmit this life threatening disease.

How to Identify a Horsefly Bite and What to Do Next

There’s a good chance you’ve been bitten by a horsefly more than once in your life. If you’re not familiar with this venomous bug, it’s a huge, black fly that may be rather annoying. Generally speaking, you can tell it apart by its size. In comparison to the average fly, a horsefly can grow to be as long as 1 inch (2.54 centimeters), making it significantly larger than the average fly. Continue reading to learn what you should do if you get bitten by a horsefly. If you’ve ever been bitten by a horsefly, you understand how painful it can be.

The mandible is the insect’s jaw in its most basic form.

The horsefly’s mandible is additionally equipped with tiny hooks that aid in the horsefly’s ability to latch in and feed more effectively.

This bite has the potential to cause:

  • The biting location may be bruised in certain circumstances, and there may be an itching and inflammation surrounding the bite region.

Aside from the temporary discomfort they cause, horsefly bites are not considered to be hazardous to people in general. Horses are generally the only ones who suffer from these bites. This is due to the fact that horseflies are known to transmit equine infectious anemia, often known as swamp fever. When they bite an equestrian animal, they have the potential to spread this potentially fatal illness. If a horse becomes infected with the virus, it may endure fever, hemorrhaging, and overall sickness.

  • Horseflies may be found all across North America, including Alaska.
  • Some localities, particularly during the summer months, are plagued with horseflies, which are virtually inescapable in some areas.
  • They prey on big creatures such as people, dogs, and, of course, horses, among other things.
  • They’re also drawn to carbon dioxide, which makes sense.
  • If you’ve ever had the impression that a horsefly was out for vengeance, you could be correct.
  • If their first bite does not provide them with the gratifying feast they were looking for, they have been known to pursue after their prey for a brief period of time.
  • The upper half of a horsefly is white, and it is usually distinguished by a few vertical black lines running vertically across it.

Using over-the-counter antiseptic spray or ointment, wipe the bite site and apply it to help keep the wound clean while also decreasing inflammation and itching The majority of the time, a horsefly bite will heal on its own within a few days.

Consult your doctor if you have any unexpected symptoms.

If you are having trouble breathing, have a rash that is spreading, or are experiencing increased discomfort, get medical treatment.

In the majority of cases, you will not suffer any negative side effects.

They will be able to analyze your bite and identify any necessary future actions.

Apply insect repellent before stepping outside to avoid being bitten by horseflies in the future. Wearing light-colored clothes is preferable if at all feasible. Horseflies are drawn to darker hues, therefore using a darker color may help keep them away from your home.

Horseflies: Why they’re the worst and what you can do about it

What causes their bites to be so painful? Why aren’t they going to die if you smack the living daylights out of them? Today, we’ll address some of your most pressing horsefly questions. Does the presence of horseflies in the animal realm serve a purpose, or were they simply sent on this planet to make me and my horses miserable? That is an excellent question. Typically, when I think of horseflies, I think of the large, venomous bullet-shaped monster-bugs that appear to take pleasure in devouring my horse alive, but there are around 4,500 different species that are members of the horsefly family (Tabanidae).

  • Other reasons to despise them include: It is possible for 20-30 horseflies to drain about a third of a pint of blood from their victims in as little as six hours if they are not managed.
  • Horseflies are something that this individual absolutely, positively, positively despises: What is it about their bites that causes such excruciating pain?
  • The larger the hole, the greater the amount of blood they may absorb.
  • When a horsefly was eating a hole in his arm, this brave guy captured it on film: “I’ll hit one extremely hard, but it only gets disoriented for a minute and then comes back for more.” WHY IS IT NOT JUST DIETING?!?!?
  • They are not easily discouraged from attacking, and they will even pursue their chosen prey after they have been caught.
  • Unfortunately, we are unable to assist you.
  • To keep them at bay, avoid forested, moist locations such as streams and ponds.
  • The horsefly season in August and September was a nightmare on the farm I used to operate, and the following were some of our most successful horsefly survival strategies:
  • When feasible, ride and turnout should be done in the mornings and evenings. Fly spray and fly predators are fine places to start, but during horsefly season, a fly sheet is very essential. When riding and working around your horse, always be on the lookout since you never know when it could buck, kick out, or whip its head around to get rid of an intruder. Horseflies are drawn to dark hues, so keep this in mind while selecting your clothing.

Alternatively, you may follow the example of this young rider: Retaliate by launching an attack!

Wishing you the best of luck, and Happy Riding! – Please give us more! If you like this post, you may be interested in. Do you enjoy HORSE NATION? Keep up with the latest news, analysis, and hilarity by “liking” us on Facebook!

6 Tips for Avoiding Horse-Flies While Running — Trail Roots

It’s already summertime! While it may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of heat training, attempting to avoid the vengeance of a horse-fly is something that many trail runners have experienced. Horse flies attach to your clothing or your head, and then they prefer to take a large piece off of your flesh with their teeth. It begins off as a little itch that lasts for a split second before you realize you’ve been bitten by a dreadful horse- fly. Then it’s too late, and they’ve snatched a good bite out of you.

  1. If you want to avoid horse-fly bites on your next trail run, here are a few things you can do to prepare.
  2. You can also use Deet, which has been shown to be effective in repelling mosquitoes.
  3. If you want to give your garments even more power, you may spray them with permether, which is a natural insecticide.
  4. Because of this, horse-fly traps are frequently painted blue.
  5. Alternatively, you can put sun sleeves on your arms, which will provide additional protection from the heat and horse-fly bites.
  6. Wearing a buff or cap over your neck and head will assist to keep them off your skin and away from your eyes.
  7. This should be of assistance.

Horse-flies are drawn to bodies of water, where they lay their eggs and raise their young.

It is difficult to run without moving or producing heat.

Despite the fact that I am aware of this, it does not prevent me from increasing my pace in order to dodge their attack.

6)If you are in close proximity to a road I’ve discovered that transitioning from a trail run to a road run brings me out into the open, where the horse fly seems to disappear rather soon.

Horse-fly bites, while irritating, are generally not dangerous to the human body.

As a side note, you will find that some pathways and parts of town have a higher concentration of horse-flies than others.

You’ll begin to recall which paths are the most challenging.

It is possible that fleeing from an one horsefly or a swarm of them may convert your nice easy trail run into a training day! If you have any horse-fly prevention strategies that we didn’t include, please share them with us in the comments section. Summer trail running wishes to you.

How to Keep Horse Flies Away from Your Yard

Horse flies are well-known for their painful bites, which are caused by their scissor-like jaws. Female horse flies, like female mosquitoes, are attracted to your blood because it provides them with nutrition. (Male horse flies are attracted to nectar mostly.) A horse fly bite, on the other hand, will result in a loud “ouch!” unlike a mosquito bite, which may not be recognized until it begins to itch. If you have a problem with horse flies in your yard, follow these guidelines to help protect yourself, your family, and your pets (or livestock).

What Do Horse Flies Look Like?

As one of the biggest flies on the planet, they are reasonably easy to detect, yet they can be tough to thwart due to their size. In order to establish whether or not you have horse flies, look for the following features. Horse flies have extremely huge and robust bodies that range in length from 3-4 inches to 1-14 inches. A variety of colors are available, ranging from dark brown to grey to black. Their eyes are huge and can be either green or black in color.

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Maintain Your Yard

Because horse flies like moist regions and hot temperatures, they can be seen in large numbers in pasturelands near creeks throughout the summer months. They prefer weedy patches and tall grass around dwellings because they can retain moisture and help to reproduce the humid pasture habitat that they adore so much. Horse flies may also be a nuisance for folks who spend their time at the beach or at the local pool.

Remove Garbage

Horse flies, like other fly species, will concentrate their efforts on waste in search of food. The lids of outdoor garbage cans should have a tight fit. Keeping your garbage in your garage may help to reduce the number of flies that fly over your yard.

Clean Up after Pets

Horse flies (as well as other fly species) will target waste in their search for food, according to the CDC. Close the lids of outdoor garbage cans tightly. Your yard may have less flies if you can keep your rubbish out of the way in your garage.

Burn CandlesTorches

If you’re hosting a backyard BBQ or other outdoor celebration, burning citronella candles and lighting torches will help keep horse flies away from your guests and prevent them from attacking them. Horse flies are attracted to the smoke and aroma created by citronella oil, so using it can help keep them away.

Kill and Prevent Horse Flies

Horse flies reach a length of between 12 and 14 inches when they are fully grown. Their strong bodies range in hue from gray to black, and their wings may be clear or somewhat foggy in appearance. Horse flies are distinguished by their huge, vivid green or purple eyes and their extremely small antennae. FEMALES are equipped with specialized blade-like mouthparts that they use to cut through the skin of a human or an animal, and they are also outfitted with spongy mouthparts that they use to suck in blood.

Do horse flies bite?

Yes, but only the girls are allowed to participate. Male horse flies do not bite because they do not feed on blood; instead, they feed on pollen and nectar, which are found in flowering plants. In order to reproduce, female horse flies bite in order to feed on the blood of their prey.

They require blood meals in order to breed successfully. Horse flies can detect the presence of a human or animal by movement, warmth, or the carbon dioxide they release. It is common for them to bite the legs, limbs, or sometimes the entire torso of their victim.

Are horse flies dangerous?

The answer is yes, but only for the ladies. Men don’t bite because male horse flies don’t feed on blood; instead, they feed on pollen and nectar. In order to procreate, female horse flies bite in order to feed on the blood of their prey. Horse flies require blood meals in order to survive. Horse flies can identify the presence of a human or animal by detecting movement, warmth, or the carbon dioxide that they exhale from their bodies. It is common for them to bite the victim’s legs, limbs, or the body.

Where are horse flies found?

Horse flies are most commonly found in regions where there are huge populations of animals, and they may be found in both suburban and rural settings in enormous numbers. Horse flies love open environments that are close to water, such as fields and pastures. Females lay their eggs in the soil near bodies of water, while males do the same. It is common for horse flies to congregate along the borders of forested trails or along the sides of roadways, waiting for a host to pass by that they may bite and feed on.

Cold, windy days significantly lower their degree of activity.

How do I get rid of horse flies?

If you are having issues with horse flies on your property, call Keller’s Pest Control for assistance. They would be happy to help. Horse flies are a serious threat to humans and animals, and we have the knowledge, experience, and efficient pest management solutions to protect them. Give us a call at Keller’s Pest Control now to learn more about our fly control services.

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What are Horse Flies? Dealing with Horse Flies at the Beach

Even while the feeling of warm sand under your toes and the lyrical sound of the ocean waves might temporarily transport you to a tropical paradise, a bite from a horse fly can soon transport you back to reality. Even though they receive their name from eating on horses and other livestock, horse flies have become a known annoyance for beachgoers on every coast, regardless of where they reside. Horse flies, in contrast to house flies and fruit flies, are notorious for their painful and relentless biting.

What are Horse Flies?

Horse flies are extremely fast and strong fliers, with the ability to go for more than 30 kilometers at a time. Horse flies are most active in hot, humid circumstances and are drawn to bodies of water, making the beach an ideal site for them to seek refuge. In contrast to male horse flies, female horse flies must consume blood in order to successfully procreate (much like those other troublesome summertime insects – mosquitoes). Male horse flies graze on nectar. Visual hunters, horse flies frequently congregate on paths and roadsides in search of possible hosts, attacking any dark moving objects that happen to pass by.

Horse flies, often known as “greenheads,” are well-known for being persistent pests in the home.

Horse fly bites can be quite painful as a result of this.

Occasionally, they will even attempt to catch up with their intended target for a little amount of time. Now that you’ve learned what horse flies are, keep reading to find out how to get rid of them.

How to Deal with Horse Flies at the Beach

In the same way that we like the sea and the sun, horse flies enjoy the same things, which is why beach towns are one of their favored vacation spots. The good news is that there are several methods to protect yourself and your loved ones against these pests and their sometimes life-threatening bites. For this reason, if possible, avoid beaches that are surrounded by marshland or dune grass. Horse flies are particularly prevalent in marshes and forested areas near the shore, therefore avoid them at all costs.

Although it is not ideal when the sun is blazing, if you are sitting in a beach chair or laying out on a blanket reading a book, try covering yourself in a towel or wearing long clothing to keep yourself warm.

Watch this video to learn how to apply insect repellent.

Additionally, horse fly activity is typically reduced on windy days, so take advantage of these horse fly-free opportunities, even if the wind at the beach is a little stronger than you would expect.

How to Keep Your Property Safe from Biting Flies

The presence of horse flies and their bites may disrupt any outdoor activity in a seaside resort, even though they are not known to transmit any diseases to people. Because horse flies are attracted to people who live near water, it is essential to ensure that your property is not a breeding ground for them in order to avoid unpleasant bites at home. Make sure to drain any areas of standing water to prevent the development of horse fly breeding sites. Horse flies, on the other hand, are drawn to light and will occasionally swarm around windows and doors.

Besides horse flies, there are a few other insects that can rapidly become a nuisance on your property, depending on the situation.

They have very short lifespans, but they are capable of rapid reproduction, which can result in a big fly infestation if the problem is not addressed.

Fruit flies may also be found in houses, where they are commonly discovered eating on rotting fruit that has been left on the kitchen counter, as their name suggests.

If you feel that you have a fly problem in or near your house, you should consult with a registered pest control specialist. A trained specialist will be able to conduct an inspection and make recommendations on the most appropriate course of action.

Horse Flies and Deer Flies

|Download the PDF version of ENTFACT-511: Horse Flies and Deer Flies.

by Lee Townsend, Extension EntomologistUniversity of Kentucky College of Agriculture

Horse Fly and Deer Fly are two types of flies. Horse flies and deer flies are both bloodsucking insects that may be a major annoyance to cattle, horses, and people. Horse flies and deer flies are both considered to be a serious pest to humans. Horse flies are around 3/4 to 1-1/4 inches in length and have transparent or strongly colored wings, as well as brilliantly colored eyes, in most cases. Deer flies, which are smaller than horse flies and regularly bite humans, have dark bands across their wings and colored eyes that are similar to those of horse flies.

  1. The quantity of flies and the severity of their onslaught varies from one year to the next, depending on the season.
  2. It is possible that animals will harm themselves when fleeing from the insects.
  3. For their meal, Webb and Wells projected that horse flies would drink 1 cc of blood and that 20 to 30 flies dining for 6 hours would consume 20 tablespoons of blood, according to a USDA Bulletin 1218.
  4. Flies such as horse flies and deer flies are more active during the daytime hours.
  5. Once they have taken up residence on a host, they slit the skin with their knife-like mouthparts and feed on the blood pool that has formed.
  6. The soreness and swelling caused by bites normally subside within a few days.
  7. Bites may be painful, and general first aid-type skin lotions can assist to alleviate the discomfort.
  8. In terms of animal pests, male flies are of no significance because they feed on nectar.
  9. The fly’s painful bites usually provoke a response from the victim, and the fly is compelled to move on to another host as a result.


It is the muck around the borders of ponds and streams, as well as marshes and seepage sites, where horse fly and deer fly larvae grow and mature. Some are aquatic, while others grow in soil that is rather dry. Females lay batches of 25 to 1,000 eggs on vegetation that grows over water or in moist areas, depending on the species. They descend to the ground and feed on decaying organic debris as well as tiny creatures in the soil or water, which they acquire via this process.

The larval stage, which can last anywhere from one to three years depending on the species, is the most common. In order to pupate and eventually emerge as adults, mature larvae must crawl to drier locations.


During the summer, deer flies are generally only active for brief periods of time at a time. Repellents such as Deet and Off (N-diethyl-metatoluamide) can give up to several hours of protection when used outside. Follow the directions on the label since some people might develop allergies after using a product for a long period of time. Also, check for age limitations. Permethrin-based repellents are intended for use on clothes alone, however they often give a longer duration of protection than other repellents.

Even after a remedy has been administered, these flies will continue to swarm and annoy you.

Hats with mesh face and neck veils, as well as neckerchiefs, may provide some protection under severe circumstances.


Horse flies and deer flies may be a real annoyance when they congregate near swimming pools. They may be drawn to the water by the gleaming surface or by the movement of the swimmers in the water. There are currently no viable recommendations for addressing this issue. Permethrin-based sprays are approved for use on animals and horses, according to the label. Because these pesticides are extremely unpleasant to the flies, they are forced to flee nearly soon after landing on the surface. Frequently, the flies do not come into touch with the pesticide for long enough to be killed, and as a result, they continue to be an irritation.

It is possible that repeated applications will be required.

In addition, pyrethrin sprays are effective, although their effectiveness does not continue as long as permethrin.

In the daytime, if animals have access to shelter, they will be able to avoid the relentless onslaught of these vexing pests.


It is extremely difficult to detect and/or destroy the breeding sites of horse flies and deer flies, and it is nearly impossible to do so. The fact that they spawn in environmentally sensitive wetlands raises concerns about the implications of drainage or pesticide treatment on non-target creatures or water supplies. Furthermore, these insects are excellent flyers and have the ability to move in from a distance. Breeding sites may be quite large or located a long distance distant from the location where the issues are occurring.

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Some changes in behavior or the use of repellents may be necessary to allow for enjoyment of the outdoors.


Some goods may not be legal to use in your state or nation, depending on where you live.

As a reminder, ALWAYS READ AND COMPLY WITH LABELED INSTRUCTIONS FOR SAFE USE OF ANY PESTICIDE! Images courtesy of the University of Kentucky Entomology Department

Facts About Horse Flies

Horse flies (Tabanidae) are huge, aggressive insects that fly quite quickly. They are also highly spry flyers. Horse flies are among the biggest of all fly species, and there are around 3,000 different species of Horse flies in the globe. Females attack people and other animals (particularly horses and other livestock) in the hopes of obtaining blood meals for their young. Horse flies and Bot flies are referred to as “gadflies” in some circles. Horse flies might be a nuisance, but remember that you are not alone in feeling this way.

They were also a source of concern for the Vikings.

Continue reading for the most crucial facts about horse flies, as well as information on how to put preventative measures in place to keep you and your family safe from horse flies.

What Do Horse Flies Look Like?

Horse flies are available in a variety of colors ranging from yellowish-brown to dark grey to blackish in appearance, and they normally reach 3/4″ to 1.25″ in length. Their heads are disproportionately large in comparison to the rest of their bodies, and they are hairy all over, giving them a passing similarity to honey bees in appearance. They have just one set of wings, like all other genuine flies of theDipteraorder, which are delicately colored and covered with wispy dots, much like all other true flies of theDipteraorder.

Horse Flies vs. Deer Flies

Horse flies are frequently mistaken with Deer flies, which are also known to attack humans on a regular basis. Horse flies and Deer flies both have vividly colored eyes, however Deer flies are somewhat smaller than Horse flies. They are distinguished by the black stripes that run across their wings.

Where doHorse FliesCome From?

Aside from the polar extremes and few islands, such as Hawaii, horse flies may be found almost wherever on the planet, including the tropics. These fly prefer warm, wet environments where they may reproduce, although they can be found in a broad range of habitats, including deserts and alpine meadows, depending on the species. Horse flies are strictly outside creatures, and they do not feed or seek shelter indoors unless it is necessary. You may come across one who has mistakenly walked inside your home through an open window or door, in which case a flyswatter or a dependable indoor and outdoor fly spray will make fast work of it.

Horse Fly Habits

Most of the time, these flies may be found in valley meadows near creeks and streams, where they enjoy higher temperatures and more moisture, as well as regions where cattle and people can be located outside. Horse flies are not simply attracted to the open air (especially near pools of water, like mosquitoes). They also love bright sunshine and are most common throughout the summer months, and they seek to avoid dark, shaded regions when possible. Horse flies do not emerge from their lairs at night.

Females are the only ones who bite, as they have powerful, incisor-like mouthparts, whereas males have weak mouthparts, as shown in the photo.

Women (again, as is the case with mosquitoes) bite both animals and humans in order to collect protein in the form of a blood meal, which they use to fertilize eggs. During their development, horse fly larvae live in aquatic or semi-aquatic settings, where they prey on other smaller organisms.

What AttractsHorse Flies?

Female Horse flies can identify humans and animals by their colors and motions, and they are drawn to bright items, warmth, perspiration, and carbon dioxide emitted by humans and animals, among other things.

Can Horse Flies Bite?

Female horse fly bites are extremely painful, but what’s worse is that these insects have the ability to transmit germs and blood pollutants from one host to another. They have the potential to make animals and people severely ill, and in unsheltered cattle, they can even cause growth rates and milk supply to be lowered. If the person or animal who has been bitten has an allergy, the consequences are more severe. Blood-stained horse fly bites on people can cause rashes, dizziness, weakness, and wheezing, as well as other symptoms such as headaches and fatigue.

Likewise, scratching will exacerbate the itching and other side effects of mosquito bites.

Will Horse Flies Bite Your Dogs?

The scissor-like mouth of the female Horse fly can inflict painful bites not only on humans, but also on your dog. Even though the effects and minor irritation are only short-lived, your dog is still at risk for the same danger that comes with all biting pests: the spread of bacteria and other blood contaminants from the female Horse fly’s saliva. In addition to the belly, legs, and neck, larger dog breeds are the most prone to Horse fly attacks. The most common regions where dogs get attacked are the legs, abdomen, and neck.

TheHorse FlyLife Cycle

Female Horse flies deposit their eggs under gravel or plants in close proximity to a water source, but they do not need to be close to it. When the eggs hatch, the pale, spindly larvae crawl into a nearby body of water or moist soil, where they feed on tiny insects and even reptiles for the rest of their lives. When the horse fly larval stage is complete, it can continue up to a year, at which point the larvae burrow themselves into the earth in order to pupate. Horse flies mature after one to two weeks as pupae and another three to ten weeks as developing adults before emerging as fully fledged adults.

Helping Prevent a Horse Fly Problem Outdoors

Horse fly problems in suburban regions are less prevalent than in less-populated, rural locations, where there may be grassy, open fields and cattle in the vicinity. Ideally, pest control chemicals should not be utilized until all other options have been exhausted and the Horse fly problem has not been resolved. Citronella candles and ultraviolet bug zappers are two common cures for flies and other flying insects when used outdoors. Horse flies are not drawn to rubbish or animal corpses, but keeping your yard as clean of standing water as possible will help to keep them to a minimum (as well as mosquitoes, which are also attracted to standing water!)

Fly Killer Treatments

Products for Pest Control For spot-treatment of Horse flies, use a plant oil-based indoor fly killer such as Maggie’s Farm Home Bug Spray or Maggie’s Farm Flying Insect Killer, which are both highly effective. Plants despise flies and other insects just as much as you do, and the natural oils they create to defend themselves are incredibly powerful in killing and repelling insects of all kinds. If you want excellent personal protection against flies (and mosquitoes), use Maggie’s Farm Natural Insect Repellent, which is made from plant oils.

Always read and carefully follow the recommendations on the label of any pest control product, including those for storage and disposal.

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In order to be the most effective, our plant and mineral-based treatments are created by scientists and experienced pest control specialists.

Horse fly chased me for almost 2 miles today

As a resident of North Florida for the last 24 years, I can guarantee you that you were not followed by a horsefly, but rather by a deerfly, which was the source of your discomfort (also called yellow fly). It doesn’t make your condition any better, to be honest. They can’t fly at 90 miles per hour (more like 20 miles per hour, but that’s still fast enough to keep up with a distance runner), but they can fly at a faster speed. The fact that they are drawn to movement and dark hues explains why they are assaulting your head.

Wearing insect spray may be effective, but it has the effect of making you feel like you’re wearing a sticky, tight, full-body garment.

The best course of action is to either avoid the woods or run with a group of people.

Alternatively, you might wear a t-shirt and swat your back and shoulders, similar to how a horse swats its tail.

Why Do Horse Flies Bite? What To Do About It?

In spite of the fact that horseflies are little and appear to be harmless, the truth is that they are capable of causing significant pain and injury. Horseflies are well-known, and the reason for their moniker is the fact that they like to sit on horses and other large creatures, annoying them and making them feel uncomfortable. They become a nuisance to horses and a variety of other species. Waterlogged locations, water bodies, and sites where horses and other animals exist in large numbers are all frequent locales where horseflies can be found.

  1. These flies mostly feed on them and as a result, injure them as a result.
  2. If you are bitten by a horsefly, get medical attention as soon as possible and see a doctor right away.
  3. While the adult horsefly is well-known for its nectar-eating habits, female horseflies need blood to reproduce and are therefore more dangerous.
  4. A female horse fly bite on a larger female horse can be quite painful.
  5. When it comes to making their case, female horseflies are convincing and relentless in their efforts.
  6. If necessary, these horseflies will follow their prey until they reach them.
  7. Some of these species are known to be vectors of infection and illness transmission.

Horseflies are able to live in wooded areas and wet conditions.

Horsefly larvae thrive in moist, dark environments near bodies of water or bodies of water.

The wings of these insects may not be as dark as their bodies, but just a few horse fly insects have fully black wings, according to the National Geographic.

A horsefly has six legs, a robust body that is free of bristles, and a little antenna on its head.

Adult horseflies are powerful and fast fliers, with the ability to fly up to 30 miles per hour (49.3 km).

Horseflies target an animal that is moving and black in color.

Once they have slept, they await the arrival of a possible host on whom they can feed in order to survive.

Make sure that your doors and windows are properly screen to prevent them from entering your home.

In order to keep them away from you, use an insect repellent. If you’re interested in learning more animal fun facts, you might want to check out these articles on why flies bite and why ants bite.

Why do horse flies bite when you are wet?

Horseflies are prolific breeders in damp and swampy environments. Despite the fact that they like to eat on hot summer days when there is no breeze, they are mostly drawn to moist or dark skin, as well as carbon dioxide, when they are feeding. Female horseflies, in particular, are drawn to blood as a source of nutrition for reproduction. When it comes to nature, they are forceful and persistent. They have the ability to pursue their prey for an extended period of time if necessary. The wet weather encourages them to proliferate.

They have powerful mouthparts, especially in the case of female horseflies, which they utilize to shred their prey to pieces.

It is possible that this kind of bug will be harmful to both animals and humans.

What happens when a horse fly bites you?

Due of their powerful mouthparts, horseflies are attracted to huge animals and mammals such as dogs, horses, people, and other living organisms. They are always drawn to dark items and carbon dioxide, which they find comforting. Now you know why humans attract a large number of horseflies while they are engaged in an outside activity or sweating in the fresh air. Since carbon dioxide generation increases as a result of heavy and frequent breathing, this horsefly is attracted to the person breathing heavily and frequently.

In fact, a horsefly may be so tenacious and energetic that if they begin biting animals or mammals in excellent condition, they will not stop until the animals are dead or the horsefly has consumed enough blood to survive and breed.

If and when these flies strike or bite you, and if the pain is not too intense, you may simply wait it out to let your body to recover on its own own.

Allow them to check your symptoms as well as the bite site before making a decision on what to do next.

Dark colors will attract these flies, so wear light-colored clothes instead. You may also use an insect repellent to keep these flies away from your home. Furthermore, by screening your doors and windows, you may ensure that these flies are not allowed to enter your home or business.

What do you do if a horse fly bites you?

If you are bitten by a horsefly, call or go to the nearest doctor right away. It is generally agreed that horsefly bites are far more painful and irritating than mosquito ones. Due to the fact that male horseflies are not hazardous, the indicators of a male horsefly bite will be different from the signs of a female horsefly bite. If the host is not treated medically, he or she may be in danger. Females are extremely deadly, aggressive, and persistent, and they have the potential to transmit another illness.

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If you are bitten by this female insect, get medical attention immediately; nevertheless, these bites usually recover within a few of days.

Medical treatment is essential, and a doctor or physician will check the symptoms as well as the bitten location in order to establish the best course of action to take.

How to avoid horse fly bites?

If you want to prevent being bitten by a horsefly, avoid regions where animals such as horses are in plenty. These flies, especially the females of these species, have a tendency to sit on these creatures and feed on them as if they were pets. Also, stay away from regions near bodies of water. When you’re getting dressed for a night out, take attention to your attire. When participating in any outside activity, try to dress in clothing that is completely covered and light in color. Flies are attracted to dark hues.

If your home is near a body of water, make sure to install fly screens on all of your doors and windows to keep these flies under control.

However, if the wound does not heal within a few days or if you are having any strange symptoms such as dizziness or severe pain, you should see a doctor right once.

In this section of Kidadl, we have painstakingly assembled an abundance of intriguing family-friendly information for you to enjoy!

Horse Fly Control: Get Rid of Horse Flies in the House

  • A horse fly’s body can be anywhere between 12 and 14 inches long depending on its size. Color: They are either black or gray in appearance. Eyes: People with huge, dazzling green eyes are common. Antennes: Horse flies all have antennae that are shorter than the length of their bodies


The female horse fly, which feeds on blood, has blade-like mouthparts that cut tissues and blood arteries, causing blood to flow to the wounds they produce. Females then soaking up blood with their sponge-like mouthparts is what they are known for. Males solely eat on pollen and nectar, and their mouthparts are identical to females’, but considerably weaker.

Horse Fly vs. Deer Fly

Horse flies and deer flies are closely related, and both are members of the Tabanidae family. The two most distinguishing characteristics of them are their total size and the shape of their wings.

Horse flies are often significantly bigger than other species, with a stouter body and a very massive head with extremely huge eyes. When it comes to their wings, they are often transparent or hazy, whereas deer flies have black bands or patches across their wings.


While male horse flies feed on pollen and plant nectars, female horse flies are aggressive blood feeders, whilst female horse flies do not.

Finding Prey

When it comes to finding hosts, female horse flies employ a combination of chemical and visual signals in the same way that other blood sucking insects do, such as mosquitoes. A long-range indication provided by warm-blooded animals attracts horse flies from a distance, whereas visual cues such as motion, size, form, and dark color attract horse flies from a shorter distance, according to the National Horsefly Association.


They hardly seldom bite close to the head. In addition to animals of practically all sizes, horse flies also have a wide range of hosts that include humans and their pets, as well as cattle. If a female horse fly is interrupted while attempting to feed, she will fly away but immediately return to bite another host, or she will proceed to another host to take a whole blood meal from that host.

Horse Fly Bites vs. Deer Fly Bites

Large, non-moving creatures are frequently bitten on the legs or torso by female horse flies. Deer flies, on the other hand, attack moving hosts and tend to target high-up on the body, such as the head or neck, to feed.


When someone is bitten, they may experience the following symptoms and bite reactions:

  • The bite area will swell and become itchy, then the swelling will subside. Itching and scratching of bite wounds that persists for an extended period of time and can result in subsequent bacterial infections if the bite is not cleaned and sanitized
  • The fact that horse flies inject anticoagulant-containing saliva while feeding on humans increases the risk of significant responses, particularly among those who are strongly sensitive to the anticoagulant chemicals. An itchy rash all over the body, wheezing, swelling around the eyes, swelling of the lips, and dizziness or weakness are all possible symptoms.

ReproductionLife Cycle

Horse fly growth areas include freshwater and saltwater marshes and streams, wet forest soils, and even rotting wood that has soaked up moisture from the environment. In most cases, females lay their egg masses on damp soil or vegetation that overhangs bodies of water. Larvae are active in organic stuff that is damp or wet, and they have a similar appearance to house fly maggots. Depending on the species, horse flies have anywhere from 6 to 13 larval stages. The pupal stage begins in the spring after the last larval stage has completed its overwintering period.

Fertile females will deposit their eggs on the undersides of leaves, and the larvae will hatch out and drop off the leaf in around 2-3 days after the eggs have been laid.

Horse Fly Larvae vs. Deer Fly Larvae

During field research, researchers discovered that horse fly larvae feed on midges, crane flies, and even other horse fly larvae. As a result of their cannibalistic tendencies, horse fly larvae are typically found living in isolation. Deer fly larvae, on the other hand, tend to congregate in large groups. Pupae do not consume food. When it comes to producing fertile fly eggs, female horse flies require a blood meal to be successful. A female can lay anywhere between 100 and 800 eggs per year.


Horse flies are present in nearly every region of the United States, and there are more than 160 different species to be found.

Prevention Tips

However, even the most potent insect repellents are only somewhat successful in keeping insects away.

A better alternative for prevention is to cover and protect exposed areas of the body in order to lessen the probability of being bitten by horse flies.

Biting Flies

Almost everyone has been bitten by a fly of some kind or another at some point in their lives. Despite the fact that there are many different varieties of biting flies, mosquitoes are responsible for the majority of the biting. This knowledge sheet is dedicated to the study of additional types of biting flies. For more information about mosquitoes, see the Mosquitoes and Diseaseat website. What exactly is a fly? In contrast to the majority of winged insects that have four wings, flies only have two wings.

Biting flies, like mosquitoes, detect humans and other animals by sensing certain components, such as carbon dioxide and moisture in exhaled breath, dark hues and movement, warmth, and perspiration.

The saliva of the fly can cause life-threatening allergic responses in people who are very sensitive to it.

Sand flies (Psychodidae) are responsible for the transmission of diseases such as sand fly fever, bartonellosis, and leischmaniasis in many regions of the world.

Biting midges (Ceratopogonidae) are vectors for a range of illnesses and, in the United States, are responsible for the transmission of the blue tongue virus to livestock.

THE IDENTIFICATION OF BITING FLIES, DEER FLIES, AND HORSE FLIES (Tabanidae) When it comes to insects, deer flies are one of just a few varieties that may transmit illness to humans in the United States.

Tularemia is also known as “rabbit fever.” When it comes to deer flies, the spring is the most active season.

They range in color from yellow-brown to black, with dark bands on their wings in most cases.

Unlike other flies, deer flies have maggot-like larvae (the juvenile stage).

They may be rather annoying when they are buzzing about a person’s head, especially if there are a great number of them present.

The bites might be unpleasant as a result of the rather rudimentary method of extracting blood used to get them.

Some of them are completely black.

Horse flies are large, fast-flying insects that feed on the blood of livestock and other animals, as well as humans.

As they mature, they travel to dryer soil where they go through the pupal (cocoon) stage, just like deer fly larvae.

FLY THAT IS STABLISH (Stomoxys calcitrans) The stable fly is about 14 inches long and gray in color, with four black stripes on its thorax.

This fly is similar in appearance to a house fly, with the exception of a pointed proboscis under its head, via which it suckers blood.

They often bite in the early morning or late afternoon and target the ankles, delivering a sharp, stabbing pain that lasts for several minutes.

Similarly to house fly larvae, stable fly larvae are essentially similar to their adult counterparts.

Unlike other types of flies, black flies prefer to live in damp surroundings.

In their pursuit for blood, black flies will travel up to ten kilometres.

Injury from black fly bites, on the other hand, may be life-threatening to cattle and even humans when they are present in great numbers, as they are during the late spring and early summer.

Black fly bites are notorious for causing significant swelling and bleeding, as well as being irritating and taking a long time to recover.

BEING BITE BY MUD (Ceratopogonidae) Biting midges should not be confused with other midges (Chironomidae), which are considerably bigger and resemble mosquitoes but do not bite.

Biting midges are significantly tiny than mosquitoes, measuring no more than a third of an inch in length.

Because of their small size, they are able to get through window and door screens.

They can bite at any time of day or night.

Sucking the blood of people is something that some animals do, whereas other species suck the blood of insects, including mosquitoes.

Sand fly larvae are small and worm-like in appearance, and they live in damp decaying plant materials, moss, dirt, or water.

Adults are long-legged, no longer than 1/8-inch in length, hairy, brown to gray in color, and their wings are shaped in a “V” shape when the flies are resting.

Several sand fly species (Lutzomyia) have been identified in several places of the world, including southern Texas in the United States, that are suspected of spreading cutaneous leischmaniasis, a disfiguring protozoan illness that affects people.

Sanitation, on the other hand, may be a very effective means of controlling some biting insects.

Wherever possible, these potential larval development sites should be removed from the environment.

Exclusion can also be used to protect against biting flies.

Although conventional household screens have a fine enough mesh to keep out the smallest biting flies, they should be changed with finer mesh in areas where these insects are a concern.

Fans may be a more effective method of keeping small areas free of flies, particularly tiny flies whose flying is impacted by air currents.

The use of pesticides to control biting flies is only of limited effectiveness.

These materials kill only on contact and decompose quickly, leaving the treated area unprotected for a short period of time following application.

However, if flies are not landing on these surfaces, this strategy will be of little use to them.

Anti-mosquito larvae formulations that contain Bacillus thuringiensis (such as BTI) or growth regulators (such as methoprene) have been widely and effectively employed against mosquito larvae that are found in stagnant water such as ditches, lakes, and catch basins.

PREVENTING BITES IS IMPORTANT Biting flies are a serious threat, and repellents are the last line of defense.

Repellants have been proven to be less efficient against some species of biting flies, despite the fact that they are effective against mosquitoes.

During periods of high black fly activity and unavoidable exposure, protective netting that covers the head, such as the “bee bonnets” worn by beekeepers, can provide protection from the insects.

Despite the use of a variety of control methods, complete control of biting flies is not always achieved.

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Alex Wild (University of California), Jim Kalisch (University of Nebraska), and Ohio State University provided the photographs and illustrations.

Following the label directions, even if they conflict with the information provided herein, is a violation of federal law in the United States.

Those seeking further information may contact the Illinois Department of Public Health’s Division of Environmental Health at 525 West Jefferson St. in Springfield, IL 62761 (phone: 217-782-5830; TTY: 800-547-0466; for the hearing impaired: 217-782-5830).

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